Simeon Adebo

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Simeon Olaosebikan Adebo, born in 1913, near Abeokuta,[1] was a Nigerian administrator, lawyer and diplomat who served as a United Nations Under-Secretary General. He was the former head of the civil service in Nigeria's old western region. In 1962, he was appointed the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations.

As a chieftain of the Yoruba people residing in the historic mountain stronghold of Abeokuta, he held the title of the Okanlomo of Egbaland.

Civil service[edit]

After the end of the Nigerian civil war, General Yakubu Gowon instituted a commission to review wages and salaries of Nigerian workers and to look into means of ameliorating the economic conditions of workers, the importance of the commission was due to the rise in cost of living as a result of uncontrollable inflation during the civil war. Simeon Adebo was called to head the commission which later became known as the Adebo commission.[2] Workers who had demanded wage increases were happy for the choice of Adebo, he was seen as an apolitical administrator who could look thoroughly into workers plight and investigate the concerns of workers in the civil and private sector. An earlier government review of wages, which called for wage increases in 1964 had been followed by the private sector.

In its first report, the commission under Adebo, recommended a COLA or Cost of Living Award for all workers, ranging from $10 increases to $24. However, the commission desired to work within the administrative structure of the 1960s and only focused on how to review and adjust technical problems of the structure instead of a total overhaul of the wage and salary system of the Federal Government or in totality that of Nigeria.[3]

He was also the chairman of a sub-committee that reached a compromise on the intractable and explosive sharia debates of the 1977 constitutional assembly in Nigeria.[4]


  1. ^ "S. O. Adebo, 80, a U.N. Envoy; Pioneered Nigeria Civil Service". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2004. 
  2. ^ Emanuel Jehuda De Kadt, Gavin Williams. Sociology and Development. Tavistock Publications, 1974.pp 146. ISBN 0-415-25670-4
  3. ^ Emanuel Jehuda De Kadt, Gavin Williams. Sociology and Development. Tavistock Publications, 1974.pp 147. ISBN 0-415-25670-4
  4. ^ David D. Laitin. Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Change Among the Yoruba, University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-46790-2


  • Toyin Falola; The History of Nigeria, Greenwood Press, 1999